Discussion Forum

Please consider registering
guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

  

— Match —

   

— Forum Options —

   

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Topic RSS
Repulsive vs repugnant
How synonymous are they? Is the nuance of difference based on point of view?
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
2013/03/11
4:19am
Lulos
New Member
Forum Posts: 2
Member Since:
2012/01/31
Offline
1
0

I have done a quick check of a couple of dictionaries, and it appears that “repulsive”, “repugnant”, “revolting” and “repellent” (inter alia) are  all reciprocally listed as synonyms for each of the other words. My own sense is that the difference,  most particularly as between “repulsive” and “repugnant”, turns on whether the object of (revulsion/repugnance/etc) is perceived as personal or extrapersonal. By that I mean, for example, if a person hates olives, the prospect or thought of that person himself/herself eating olives is “repugnant” to that person. However, the sight or account of someone else eating olives is “repulsive”. Am I forcing a difference here, or does anyone else have the same sense?

2013/03/11
4:59am
Glenn
Admin
Forum Posts: 1636
Member Since:
2009/03/03
Offline

I think you are onto something here. I suppose the nuance might stem from one’s inability to separate physically from oneself.

“Others find my behavior repulsive” sounds just fine.
“I find his behavior repulsive,” likewise.
“I find my behavior repulsive” has a bit of semantic dissonance about it. It sounds unlikely, but not impossible. “I find my behavior repugnant” does not have that same feel of xenonymy.

2013/03/11
8:50am
RobertB
Member
Forum Posts: 436
Member Since:
2012/02/20
Offline
Lulos, I don’t sense much of that. ‘Repugnant’  is often associated with morality, and feelings of moral indignation.
‘Repellent’ seems very clinical and unemotional- repellent to insects.
 
Still, I see in your point an agreement with what I recently brought up elsewhere, which was how wrong it can be to think of the synonyms in the thesaurus as interchangeable.  
Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 1147

Currently Online:
5 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Heimhenge: 811

Bob Bridges: 680

Ron Draney: 635

Robert: 445

RobertB: 436

tromboniator: 414

Dick: 404

deaconB: 333

samaphore: 312

dilettante: 287

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 608

Members: 2999

Moderators: 1

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 1

Topics: 3204

Posts: 16975

Newest Members: CYL311, curtshanahan, Jeannine, katexic, anper, martywill, Me, garebear, Deb Weaver, joeletson

Administrators: Martha Barnette: 820, Grant Barrett: 1429, EmmettRedd: 665, Glenn: 1636, timfelten: 0